Cinco de Mayo Pasta

Hola! Happy Cinco de Mayo to everyone. If you are Latino, or just someone like me who looks for any excuse to eat Mexican or “Tex-Mex” food, you are probably warming taco shells or flour tortillas as we speak. Normally I would be doing the same. But since my whole life has turned topsy-turvy lately, perhaps it is only fitting that I should have prepared a nice dish of leftover pasta for this auspicious holiday.

As I’ve said before, I have been driven since childhood to do what was expected of me. To give the right answers. I wasn’t expecting much; only to Be Perfect. Sometimes I invested a lot of time and energy in the appearance of perfection, only to alienate people who found me smug and self-righteous. Hardly Perfect, I’d say! Still, I chased the illusion and sometimes still do, even in little things. I like to wear red on Valentine’s Day and maroon when visiting Texas A&M. When I have a kid visiting from college, I either (a) make cookies, or (b) feel inadequate if I don’t make any. And of course, I fix Tex-Mex food on Cinco de Mayo.

However, after sixteen months of living in an almost-constant state of “family emergency,” my perspective has changed. Right now I am carrying an extra load of responsibility for my mom, and another load for my sister’s family. I am happy to do what’s needed because I care about all of them. That being said, there is a significant amount of work and time involved. For me, Perfection has faded from a “priority” to an “ideal” and on down to a “non-issue.” Right about where it belongs.

If my loved ones’ bills and paperwork are in order, that’s good enough. I may not have worn red on Valentine’s Day, but I can guarantee I wore clothes. Good enough. Yesterday when I went out I forgot to wear earrings; today I skipped makeup and my shoes didn’t exactly go with my outfit. So what? I got my errands done. As near as I can figure, no one cares about whether or not I get every little detail just Perfect.

Actually, I find it rather restful to let go of these nit-picky expectations, most of them imaginary anyway, and just accept that sometimes “good enough” really IS good enough. It serves as a pleasantly humbling reminder to quit leaning on my own adequacy and accept Grace. I stayed busy all afternoon, arriving home hungry just before dinner time. And so instead of grilling fajitas, I heated up my leftover pasta and sat down to my Cinco de Mayo dinner with a thankful heart.

Thanks for reading!

And now it’s time for morning coffee with Rachel Anne and the Company Girls. Come have a cup!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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8 Responses to Cinco de Mayo Pasta

  1. Steve Bato says:

    Have you ever seen the movie, Dream Team? It is a story about a few people in a mental institution. At one point Billy says to his doctor something like: “Doc, every day I get up, take a shower, and put my clothes on. What else do you want from me?” I’m with you, Jan. Sometimes that IS enough. Hang in there!


  2. Star says:

    While I am far from being a perfectionist…I am a pleaser and strive to do what will make everyone happy…much the same result wise!

    It is freeing to let go!

    Yesterday, we had a super busy day and at 2:00 still hadn’t eaten lunch, so we celebrated cinco de mayo by eating nachos at Target…that is wrong on SO many levels. But my kids…they were SUPER happy!


  3. Katharine says:

    Stepping back and letting go can be wonderful! One of my favorite sayings has become… “In the grand scheme of things, it’s just… ___________.
    Have a wonderful weekend!


    • Jan says:

      An excellent saying, which I may have to adopt. I LOVE the gardening attitude & priorities in your post today –we must put our heads together sometime.
      Thank you for visiting!


  4. Kelly C says:

    Enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Pingback: 2011 In Review | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

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